Jester - Halfling Tempest Fighter
Talibah - Tiefling Bard
Bart - Minotaur Fighter
Ayla - Doppleganger Chaotic Sorcerer
Willy - Halfling Rogue
The premise of the hook for this adventure was that the current party was the same group who had been previously hired by Punjar's Thieves Guild to take out someone called The Beggar King, and by eliminating him eliminating a threat to the entire city. This is when I ran Sellswords of Punjar a few months back. Since Players Handbook 2 previews are out I let the players in the group make new characters, as long as we assumed this was the same adventuring band from the previous adventure. Anyways, after dispatching the Beggar King rumor of the event spread and the group started bulding a reputation within Punjar, reaching one Lady Dev'shir, of a minor noble family within Punjar, who's foppish son Elam had discovered a family heirloom ( a necklace) in a pawn shop - an heirloom that was known to be buried in the family tomb. Enraged by this and the fact that her son was visiting the pawn shops and therefore gambling again she sent him, alone, to a tavern known as the Laughing Manitcore within the Devil's Thumb ward of Punjar, where the band of sellswords were known maintain as a base of operations.
As Elam entered the Laughing Manticore, early in the afternoon, he immediately spotted the party as they were the only ones in the place. Incredibly nervous at being in this part of town, Elam approached the group and stutteringly came right out with the proposal, that "Mother" was willing to hire them for a job, and pay a hefty sum to have it taken care of. Bart could smell Elam's fear and jocularly put his arm around Elam, disturbing him more as Jester continued to throw large knives at a dart board on the wall. Part of the deal, Elam told them as beads of sweat poured from his forehead, was that they must escort him back home.
The Party met with Lady Dev'shir at the family estate where she further explained the job, the pay of 1,000 gp each, and gave the party directions to both the pawn shop and the Dev'shir family tomb. The party decided to investigate the pawn shop, hoping to find any leads as to who had sold the necklace.
The party entered Oskar's Pawn shop and began to ask about the necklace, finding Oskar to be quite tight lipped. When diplomacy didn't work Bart had to be held back from tearing up the place. It was Intimidate Skill Test time and he successfully made his intimidate checks and Oskar reluctantly informed them that he received it from a regular customer name Latimer, but did not know where Latimer acquired it. This is one of the best parts of the module to me so far - the listed Skill Tests for interacting with Oskar. I really like 4th Edition Skill Challenges, and despite what some grognards say, it does leave social role playing in tact. It actually makes it more challenging while making the character's actual abilities a factor. So much for 4E's loss of realism. Anyway Oskar also informed them that Latimer can usually be found at a tavern known as the Famished Froghemoth, and gave them a description of the half-orc. Because Talibah did roll some good numbers during her Diplomacy Skill Test, I did not have Oskar alert the Souk (ward) guard, and the party headed for the tavern - leaving the shop intact ;).
The party entered the bustling tavern and started to discreetly ask around about Latimer, well almost discreetly. Bart decided to intimidate one of the serving wenches (rolling really high) and she angrily told him that he was a regular gambler here, then not so politely told him to leave. All the while Talibah was sitting down near the hearth playing her flute. After a short while the group noticed a very suspicious looking tiefling with two thugs enter the place, obviously looking around for someone or something. Not long after that the front door opens and a half-orc matching Latimers description starts to walk in, eying the tiefling he gasps and turns right around, the three pursuing him out the door. The party quickly follows and initiative is rolled, the fight taking place in a back alley.
The two thugs are disposed and the party makes a deal with the tiefling - that he can have Latimer, they just want to question him first, and he accepts, knowing that continuing the fight would not be in his favor. Latimer is intimidated into spilling the beans: that he is a member of a group of bandits who have been holding up in an abandonded iron mine outside the city, where it is located, and that they have been hired by some spooky witch to exhume bodies from the City of the Dead ward. He doesn't know why and doesn't care, only happy to be pocketing shiny trinkets off the corpses he can sell for gambling money. Armed with the information they leave Latimer to his fate and head back to the Dev'shir estate.
Lady Dev'shir is only more infuriated by this information and the pay is raised to 1,200 gp each if the party can put a stop to whatever it is that's going on. She urges them to go to the family tomb to make sure it is secure, however the party decides to head straight for the bandit's lair. "Fish rot from the head down," Talibah remarked.
The party made their way into the abandoned iron mine and snuck up on a group of orcs sitting around a table, playing a game of knucklebones. They took out all but one, including an orc cleric, and forced him onto surrendering, and this is where the session ended. It's always best to end a session on a cliffhanger, even when it's one as simple as that.
Overall I really like this module, and the group really liked it as well. Looking forward to the next session.